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Mexico - Oaxaca, Barra De La Cruz // Drug War

Killvan's Mexico. How surfing Barra De la Cruz when it was still a secret lead a group of Australian surfers into an ambush in a Mexican drug war.

 

We'd been getting real drunk on Mezcal that was delivered in honey bottles, nicely painted in ornate cactus flowers and the script writing 'Mezcal' at the base. Three or four nights in a row we partied and got real drunk, real high style and celebrated life in Mexico. It was our first time in Puerto Escondido and we'd given it a solid nudge. There'd been weeks of double overhead swell and we didn't touch a board under 6'8" in two weeks. Spending some time in Mexico you begin to feel like an outlaw, especially if you've scored some swell and had the balls to pull into to some big ol' Puerto closeouts.


The four of us had been spreading out in the house we rented, some quality time out of the van had done us some good. Our landlord was a real underground type, plenty of tattoos, long black hair, all very Mexican. He sat us down before we left on the last day, and he drew us a map which apparently led to a mystical sand point a few hours south. Empty, unknown, barley ridden and possibly perfect. We were all hungover, though he had our attention with the hope of empty perfection.


"But be careful boys, this land is quiet down there. Gringos like you should be ok, though i've known greater men disappear into the jungle in these parts, muerto, never seen again".


His look was straight ahead, no bullshit, he was as serious as his bushelling marijuana crop. While we'd survived some heavy shit back up in the deserts of Baja, the lonely Mexican jungle sounded frightening, and none of us wanted to be decapitated by some bandits.

 

The journey south was everything we were warned about. There had been a few days of heavy rain the roads we'd been advised to take were rutted and treacherous, our vehicle not equipped for off road adventures the going was tough with hours of bumping up and down in humid sweaty conditions. If we survived the entry into Barra De La Cruz we'd atleast earnt the right to surf it. Arriving an hour before dusk into the village which sat at the top of the coastline we could see the ocean, and a sea breeze cooled the beads of sweat. The village was empty, abandoned almost. Spooky as it was we loaded up on some bananas and supplies, and made cautions way down a steep hill towards what we thought would be the point.

 

As night fell the jungle surrounds became a mysterious abyss, the ocean only heard out in the pure darkness. A blanket of anticipation keep us guessing till sunrise. Tired and worn, all four of us slept well into the morning until the van was rattled with a barrage of knocking. We all jumped to attention and scrambled out of the van only to be greeted by a militia, an army of camoflauged Mexican special forces types, with the biggest meanest machine guns we'd ever seen.

 

Innocent as we were it was an intense way to greet the day. They'd been hiding in the jungle watching us enter, thinking we were the rendezvous for the boat laden with drugs sitting off the coast. Apparently they'd painted a large white dot on a signature rock of Barra De La Cruz which identified their offload location.

 

Just another episode in surfing down Mexico way...

 


//

 

LOCATION OVERVIEW

Location: Barra De La Cruz. Oaxaca State, Mexico.
Optimum: All year if you're a gamblin' man, though May through to August is a safe bet for sets.
Weather: It's Mexico, wet season and dry season, so its hot, it rains, it's tropical and everything in between. And the water is bath like.
Surf Conditions: Beachbreaks, Reef Breaks, Point Breaks, Rivermouths.
Access: Mexico City Airport to Puerto Escondido once a day. Then drive off into the unknown.
Accomodation: Camping, Holiday Rentals, Hostels, Hotels. Mexico, just roll the dice.
Live Free:  8.5/10.  Frontier.

 

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